Cooper, Ebenezer Elias (1830-1916)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1894

Early years

Ebenezer was born on 16 October 1830 at Brierley Hill, Staffordshire to parents William Cooper and Lydia Pearson. William and Lydia were members of the Wesleyan Church at Bank Street, Brierley Hill. William was a shoemaker. Grandfather Pearson was a noted Baptist and later Congregational layman.

As a child Ebenezer attended the Wesleyan Sunday School. He joined the PM church in February 1860.

Business Life

In 1871 Ebenezer went into partnership in the timber trade with Caleb William Roberts. Later they purchased a dismantled iron works, improved them and created local employment. They then invested in a failed brickworks and later a galvanising works. By 1894 the company employed about 800 men.

Ebenezer was a striking example of a self-made man.

In the community, Ebenezer was a member of the Board of Guardians and a director of Brierley Hill Coffee House.

Contribution to the Connexion

Ebenezer was a Sunday School teacher and class leader. He was a local agent for the British & Foreign Bible Society. In his early life he was also very involved in the Temperance Cause.

His whole family was connected with the Hill Street Chapel, Brierley Hill.

Ebenezer served as Circuit Steward and was also a director of Bourne College from its opening.

Ebenezer was Chairman of Metropolitan Missionary Meeting in 1894.


Ebenezer was married to Selina Bache (1833-1866) in late 1850. Census returns identify four children.

  • Mary (1852-1924) – married Caleb William Roberts, her father’s partner
  • Amelia Lydia (1856-1899) – married Joseph Parry, a grocer and later carpet designer
  • Selina (1859-1906) – married Baruch Beckley, a cycle agent (1901)
  • Elizabeth Bache (1866-1892) – married Thomas Williams

Ebenezer married Abigail Thompson (1836-1904) in late 1866.

Ebenezer died on 20 October 1916 at Brierley Hill, Staffordshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1894/403; 1917/216

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • According to his relations one of which was Mr. Beckley who owned a garage in Brierley Hill. Ebenezer Elias Cooper was a foreman at Hill and Smiths Ltd, Brierley Hill before going into partnership with his Son in Law Caleb William Roberts. 

    A story about him is worth telling. As there was no local hospitals.Ebenezer had to visit a relative in a Birmingham hospital. When he arrived at the Birmingham hospital he was told the patient needed a towel.At this point I ought to say that this hospital visit took place before public transport was available and he had to walk there and back. So in one day he had to walk to Birmingham twice in one day. 

    His will, of which I have a copy, makes very interesting reading.

    By Robert (Bob) Cochrane (06/01/2014)

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